Premier League returns: Zoom parties, warm pints and a pub in the garden

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If you can’t go to the pub, build one. “I am a Spurs fan and have built a pub in my garden called The White Hart,” Chris Baldwin wrote. “Planning on showing the games live from there…to a very select audience of one of course. I’ve got a few flags that were given out when the new stadium was opened so that’s about as close as I’m going to get!”

Zoom parties with fellow supporters, a warm pint and an over-priced pie, plus building your very own pub in the garden.

Just some of the inventive ways you you’ll be recreating the matchday experience when the Premier League resumes on 17 June.

With games set to take place behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, getting the most out of the return of football will be a big challenge for fans of all 20 clubs in the top flight.

Listen to a special BBC Radio 5 Live programme on Tuesday from 19:00 BST which will examine how football might look different when it resumes, with more of your matchday recreation stories.

‘It will be a great boost for morale’

Paul Rains: I have developed a new web site lcfcfamily.co.uk to allow fellow Leicester City members to watch games together for free. I’ll be using Zoom and members can book free tickets for three events on match day – there’s the pre-match pint, followed by the game itself and then the post-match meltdown! I’ll be playing some well know LCFC chants throughout the game, I’ll open the online chat for match banter and post in-game polls to get views on controversial decisions. Trialling with 25-30 fans first but hope to scale up.

Luke: I’m hosting an Arsenal quiz before the city game with my Arsenal WhatsApp group. We’ll leave the Zoom chat running throughout the game. Everyone must wear shirts and I’ll be dressed as the manager. This will be followed by half-time and full-time analysis with some celebratory drinks (hopefully).

Daniel Rosamond: Me and my mates are home and away season ticket holders at Wolves but watching our team even on TV seemed very distant not too long ago, so can’t wait for the resumption of English football. We’ll most likely have a video call whilst the Wolves are playing to try and best replicate being with each other. Children may be asked to go to another area of the house to protect their ears! It will be a great morale boost and more importantly, even behind closed doors, it means the bigger picture of getting on top of the virus is happening bit by bit.

Keith Wild: Turf Moor Recreated: 1) 90 minutes before kick off have a Zoom meeting with friends with a beer. Discuss every possible result of the game with some analysis of previous matches. Mostly talk nonsense. 2) Go up in the attic to look across town to look at the rows of terraced houses, eating a Pukka pie. (Recreating the view from the upper Jimmy McIlroy Stand) 3) Play some highlights of Burnley goals whilst playing “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters. 4) Go on the BBC Sport website to look at the team line-ups and evaluate the team and opposition. Make comments like “what’s Dyche up to?” 5) Open all the doors and windows to ensure the house is cold as it is always 10 degrees colder in Burnley than anywhere else. 6) Watch Burnley win.

Steve Briggs is from the LFC Baltimore Reds supporters club in Maryland: “We have been having Zoom meetings while streaming replays. I think we will be doing the same thing provided Liverpool games are being streamed in the US.”

But some of you won’t miss real-life football all that much…

Francis: In an attempt to recreate the football experience, initially I will drive around for 40 minutes trying to find a parking spot and then walk two miles to my TV. Before kick-off I will mix half a pint of water and half a pint of poor quality lager while throwing £5 down the drain. I will then spend 45 minutes wallowing in despair within the shadow of the big headed person in front, then I will go back for a second pint of water/lager shandy while queuing behind my whole family for 20 minutes. Following another 45 minutes of despair, I will jump in the shower fully clothed and then walk two miles to the car in an attempt to recreate the final straw of a 4-0 home defeat to the team bottom of the league.

Ally Rogers: I will leave a can of lager open over night so it’s warm and proper flat. Will get the wife to throw a bag of chips at me without a smile and charge me £8. Then while watching a game I will ask my son to keep shouting at me to sit down.

Robin Coles: Drive around for ages, park a mile away from home, make it back just in time. Have two seats, one behind the other, with my wife sitting in front of me. When anything interesting happens, she must stand up and block my view.

Julien Boodell: I will get members of my family to walk past my seat just after kick-off and again before half-time; before returning late to their seat after half-time, blocking my view as the first goal goes in.

MOTDx: Football’s coming back – but how do fans feel about it?

‘No fans, no football’ – for others, there simply is no matchday without supporters…

Andrew Kilduff: Football without fans in stadiums is not football. Football is a spectator sport, played in front of fans, not a TV show with empty stadiums. For match-going fans it’s more than just the football, you cannot recreate that. Especially under lockdown.

Barry Geleit: No fans no football for me! It’s like going to a concert without the orchestra. Economic decisions that are blind to the scope of the crisis. Looking forward to getting back in the game in 21-22 season.

Anita Lees: Doesn’t matter because it won’t be the same. Sat by myself inside watching it on a TV when I should be in the stadium like every game, home and away, with the people I go to football with. None of this is for those fans who physically attend the games. And it will never be until we are back inside the grounds supporting our teams.

Mike Allan: I will not watch any televised football until fans are allowed back to matches. I tried the Bundesliga for three minutes and then switched off, it was like a training game.



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